If you are in the market to purchase a new home, one of the biggest challenges that you have is not just finding an excellent price but also finding the “right” house. The fact is, there are so many different variables that you must keep in mind, from how many bedrooms and bathrooms it has to the type of flooring, how old the house is and so much more, that it can be a bit overwhelming.
Adding to the problem is the fact that many things that appear to be excellent features or amenities in a home actually should be “red flags” that should be avoided. Why? Because they come with hidden costs and extra headaches that can make owning your new home a nightmare instead of a dream and cost you thousands of dollars in maintenance, upkeep and repairs.
On HDTV’s program Hidden Potential, architect and home designer Barry Wood gives tips and advice to homeowners or homeowners-to-be and many of those tips have to do with features and amenities that should be skipped when purchasing a new home. Below are a number of those that he singled out to be avoided. If you’re looking for excellent advice before buying your new home, Barry is a good guy to get it from. Enjoy.
Feature to avoid #1: Built in Mirrors
During the 1970s and into the 1980s many homeowners installed walls of mirrors into their living room, den and occasionally the bedroom as well. Not only are they a bit outdated but also they are quite costly to have removed as well as quite difficult, and present a danger to homeowners who want to remove them without the help of a professional. (Plus, if you break one it’s seven years of bad luck.)
Feature to avoid #2: Oil Heat
While oil heat might have been the predominant type of heating that Americans used during the last century, having it in your new home could very well be extremely costly. In fact, it’s much more than gas heating and, even though it might be slightly more economical on a monthly basis than electric heating, the maintenance and ecological problems that it brings simply aren’t worth it.
Feature to avoid #3: Wall-to-wall carpeting
Some people really enjoy wall-to-wall carpeting but if you see a house that has it throughout, one of the things that you’re not seeing is what’s underneath that carpeting, which is usually nothing. That might be a problem if you plan on taking a way that wall-to-wall carpeting so that you can enjoy the wood floor underneath it, especially if there is no wood floor there to begin with. Add that to the $6000-$15,000 that it costs to put a wood floor down in the average sized American home, and you can see that wall-to-wall carpeting could be a very expensive feature to replace in the future.
Feature to avoid #4: Fireplaces
Yes, they certainly have their appeal, especially in winter time when there’s a bit of a chill outside. Fireplaces however are also dangerous, dirty and, if they’re old, and have quite a few other issues that might cost you a lot of money in the future. The flue can crack, the mortar joints can erode and crack and, if there is years’ worth of grease and soot built up, it could be a fire hazard as well.
Feature to avoid #5: South facing doors, skylights and windows
Simply put, if the majority of your doors, skylights and windows are facing towards the south, the blazing midday sun is going to drive your energy costs up quite a bit. Best to find a home that faces north or has plenty of shade trees.